ARLINGTON, Texas (GoShockers)– The Wichita State University baseball team rallied from an early two-run deficit and staved-off a late UT Arlington comeback attempt to claim an 8-6 win over the Mavericks in the UT Arlington Classic Sunday, Feb. 24, at Clay Gould Stadium.
Wichita State (3-5) is scheduled to host the Creighton Bluejays for its 2019 home opener Friday, March 1, at Eck Stadium, Home of Tyler Field. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Senior Jordan Boyer pounded out three hits, and fellow senior Luke Ritter drove in two runs on his second home run of the season to pace the Shockers at the plate. Junior Alex Jackson drove in a game-high three runs, while sophomore Ross Cadena tallied a pair of hits, including a double, and two RBI, respectively.
Freshman left-hander Cal Carver (1-0) picked up his first collegiate victory on the mound after allowing no earned runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of relief, while junior Mitchell Walters earned his first save of the season after tossing 1 1/3 innings and allowing no earned run on just one hit.
The Shockers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the second before the Mavs (5-3) answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second and third innings, gaining a 4-2 advantage.
Wichita State responded though, and put up four runs – all with two outs – in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Mason O'Brien and Hunter Gibson worked back-to-back walks, prior to crossing home plate on Cadena's RBI single to left and Jake Plastiak's double down the left field line, knotting the contest, 4-4. Jackson brought both Cadena and Plastiak around the diamond on his two-RBI single to right, putting WSU in front.
The Shockers added two more runs in the top of the seventh, increasing their lead to 8-4, after Boyer hit a lead-off single and scored on Ritter's two-run homer to left-center.
UT Arlington didn't go away, however, and scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth, cutting the WSU advantage to 8-6.
The Mavs attempted to mount a ninth-inning rally, and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs and a runner on first, but centerfielder Jacob Katzfey made a diving catch on a fly ball off the bat of Zac Cook, thwarting the comeback attempt and securing the win for Wichita State.
Connor Aube and Will Olson each posted two hits, leading UTA.
Reliever Drew Gooch (0-2) suffered the loss for UT Arlington after giving up three earned runs on two hits with a walk in zero innings of work.